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1) Introduction
These rules cover the fantasy races usable in Shadowrun-esque campaigns and variations on "normal"
humans to add some variety to the melting-pot of cultures that is the Cyberpunk urban sprawl.

2) Human variants (optional)

The vast run of humanity uses the standard character generation methods described in BRP pp.16-19. At
GM's discretion, PCs can be assumed to "stand out from the crowd" in some way. This gives such PCs
improved characteristic rolls, in much the same way as Character Generation Step 6 (personality) can
create extremely competent characters (BRP p.21). The advantages these variations give depend on the
method of generation used. Examples below are for random generation (BGB p.16) and point-based
generation (BGB p.19).

a) Brawn
A Brawny character randomly generates STR and CON on 4D6, rather than 3D6. All other characteristics
are generated as per BGB p.16.

If using the point-based system, allocate the points as described on BGB p.21, then add +3 to STR and

b) Brains
A Brainy character randomly generates INT on 3D6+6 and EDU on 2D6+6. All other characteristics are
generated as per BGB p.16.

If using the point-based system, allocate the points as described on BGB p.21, then add +3 to INT and

c) Beauty
A Beautiful character randomly generates APP and POW on 4D6, rather than 3D6. All other
characteristics are generated as per BGB p.16.

If using the point-based system, allocate the points as described on BGB p.21, then add +3 to APP and

d) Lowlifes
Through no fault of their own, some people end up in the gutter, down on their luck, living in poverty and
with no fixed abode. If a player wants to start out on "Skid Row", generate characteristics as per the
normal methods (either random or point-based). Record all these initial values separately. Then subtract a
total of 8 points from the characteristics (in any combination). These reduced values are the character's
starting characteristics and used as the basis of Characteristic Rolls, Hit Points and all other derived
characteristics (BGB pp.20-21).

Over the course of the campaign, the GM should provide opportunites for the player to roleplay his or her
rise from the gutter. Each successful roleplaying event allows the character to restore one of the missing
points to his characteristics (with corresponding increases in derived characteristics), until they have all
reached their initial values.

3) Fantasy races
a) Human
Humans generate characteristics as per the normal rules or the optional rules above.

b) Elf
These are the characteristics for a standard BRP Elf. For a taller, more Shadowrun-esque Elf, generate
SIZ on 3D6+3.

STR 2D6+2
SIZ 2D4+4
INT 3D6+6
POW 2D6+6
DEX 3D6+3

c) Dwarf
CON 1D6+12
SIZ 1D4+4
INT 2D6+6

d) Troll
STR 3D6+12
CON 2D6+6
SIZ 4D6+12
DEX 2D6+3

e) Ork
SIZ 2D6+2
POW 2D6+3

1) Professions from the BGB
a) Basic Professions
The following professions from the BGB can be used "as-is", other than with genre-specific skill changes
(as per BGB p.33).

Artist, Assassin, Athlete, Beggar, Clerk, Craftsman, Criminal, Detective, Doctor, Engineer, Entertainer,
Explorer, Farmer, Gambler, Hunter, Journalist, Labourer, Lawman, Lawyer, Mechanic, Pilot, Politician,
Priest, Sailor, Scholar, Scientist, Servant, Soldier, Spy, Student, Teacher, Technician, Thief, Writer

b) Changed Professions
The following professions from the BGB can be used with minor background or skills changes.

• Computer Tech: Should have Technical Skill (Computer Programming) in place of Language
(Other programming language).
• Cowboy: Could be renamed Range Rider and substitute Drive (Motorcycle) for Ride skill.
• Merchant: Rename as Vendor, Dealer, Merchandiser, Trader or Trafficker.
• Noble: Nobles in cyberpunk are likely privileged offspring of high-level corporates or even
• Tribesman: The Tribesman could be a clan member, similar to the Shaman, below.
• Slave: Slaves are likely uncommon, having been replaced with robots, but could be mindless
drones working in rundown, Third World factories.

c) Other Professions
The following professions from the BGB should be used with care

• Occultist: There are plenty of "weirdos" in cyberpunk but the GM is final arbiter of whether
psychic powers are available.
• Shaman: The Shaman could be from a tribe of dispossessed natives, running from a corporation
or government but the GM should decide whether magic is allowed.
• Warrior: This is the classic "fantasy" warrior, whose skills may not be applicable in a cyberpunk
• Wizard: The classic fantasy wizard whose magic powers, if they exist at all, should be decided by
the GM.

2) The classic roles from CP2020

Rockerboy: Rebel rockers who use music and revolt to fight authority

Art (Musical Composition), Perform (Play Instrument, Sing), Persuade, Etiquette (Street), Brawl, plus
four of the following as personal specialisations: Fast Talk, Spot, Status, Disguise, Perform (Dance)

Solo: Hired assassins, bodyguards, killers, soldiers

Firearms (Any), Spot, Martial Arts or Brawl, Melee Weapon, Stealth, Technical Skill (Weapons Tech),
plus four of the following as personal specialisations: Spot, Listen, Drive (Any), Etiquette (Street,
Corporate), Demolition, Heavy Weapon (Any), First Aid

Netrunner: Cybernetic computer hackers

Technical Skill (Computer Use, Computer Programming, Cyberdecks, Cybernetics, Electronic Security),
Research (CyberNet), Knowledge (The CyberNet), plus three of the following as personal specialisations:
Fine Manipulation, Spot, Persuade, Knowledge (Law), Hide, Etiquette (CyberNet), Science
(Cryptography), Art (Icon Design), Craft (Icon Sculpture)

Techies: Renegade mechanics and inventors

Repair (Mechanical, Electrical), Technical Skill (Electronics, Cybernetics), Science (Physics, Chemistry,
Mathematics), plus three of the following as personal specialisations: Teach, Fine Manipulation,
Research, Heavy Machinery

Medtechie: Renegade doctors, surgeons and cyberware experts

Medicine, First Aid, Technical Skill (Cryotank Operation, Cybernetics), Science (Pharmacy), Research,
plus four of the following as personal specialisations: Science (Biology, Genetics), Spot, Persuade

Media: Newsmen and reporters who go to the wall for the Truth

Persuade, Perform (Orate), Interview, Technical Skill (Photo and Film), Research, Insight, Status, plus
three of the following as personal specialisations: Etiquette (Corporate, Street), Spot, Listen, Knowledge
(Specific Field), Fast Talk

Cop: Maximum lawmen on mean 21st century streets

Spot, Status, Firearms (Pistols), Brawl, Melee Weapon (Baton), Etiquette (Street), Insight, plus three of
the following as personal specialisations: Command, Persuade, Drive (Car, Motorcycle), Firearms (Rifle,
Shotgun), Interrogate

Corporate: Slick business raiders and multi-millionaires

Status, Knowledge (Stock Market, Accounting, Business), Research, Insight, Etiquette (Corporate), plus
three of the following as personal specialisations: Command, Persuade, Drive (Car), Technical Skill
(Computer Use), Fast Talk

Fixer: Deal makers, smugglers, organisers and information brokers

Etiquette (Street), Bargain, Persuade, Spot, Stealth, Research (Streetwise), Brawl, plus three of the
following as personal specialisations: Knowledge (Streetwise), Fine Manipulation, Firearms (Pistols),
Insight, Appraise, Etiquette (Corporate), Hide, Technical Skill (Forgery)

Nomad: Road warriors and gypsies who roam the highways

Drive (Any), Spot, Firearms (Rifles), Melee Weapon, Brawl, Repair (Mechanical), plus three of the
following as personal specialisations: Track, Navigate, Knowledge (Survival), Repair (Electrical),
Grapple, Firearms (Pistols)

3) Shadowrun 3rd Edition Archetypes

These archetypes present some possibilities for a Shadowrun-style BRP campaign. They can be used in
conjunction with any of the preceding professions and roles. The GM is the final arbiter of which (if any)
powers are available in the campaign.

Adept: A magically active individual who has tuned his magical talents for physical, mental and spiritual

Perform (Rituals), Insight, Spot, Dodge, Jump, Martial Arts (*), plus any four from the following as
personal specialisations: Brawl, Grapple, Martial Arts (*), Melee Weapon, Throw, Stealth, Hide, Sense,
Spot, Listen

Powers: May have Super Powers chosen from Armour, Defense, Diminish/Enhance Characteristic, Extra
Energy, Extra Hit Points, Leap, Regeneration, Super Characteristic, Super Sense, Super Speed, Unarmed
Combat. Other Powers are at GM's discretion.
Combat Mage: A magician who specialises in dealing death and destruction

Melee Weapon (Quarterstaff or Sword), Firearms (Pistol), Knowledge (Occult), Perform (Rituals),
Persuade, Research, plus four of the following as personal specialisations: Knowledge (any two),
Language (any), Etiquette (Street or Corporate), Insight, Sense

Powers: Magic or Sorcery at GM's discretion.

Mercenary: A soldier in the corporate wars who fights for whoever pays the most

Brawl, Climb, Dodge, First Aid, Firearm (any), plus any five of the following as personal specialisations:
Hide, Stealth, Navigate, Heavy Weapon (any), Demolition, Spot, Drive (any), Listen, Jump, Throw

Rigger: Harnessed to vehicles and drones, a human in a machine's body or vice-versa?

Drive (any two), Pilot (Drones), Repair (Mechanical, Electrical), Technical Skill (Drones), plus four of
the following as personal specialisations: Heavy Weapon (any)(*), Firearm (Pistol, Rifle, SMG)(*), Fine
Manipulation, Pilot (any)

(*) These weapons will usually be vehicle-mounted but can be used by hand.

Street Mage: A magician who knows where the real power lies - on the streets

Knowledge (Occult), Perform (Rituals), Persuade, Research, Etiquette (Street), Insight, plus four from the
following as personal specialisations: Fast Talk, Melee Weapon (Quarterstaff, Sword or Knife), Firearm
(Pistol), Knowledge (Blasphemous, Streetwise, Group[specific]), Bargain, Sense

Powers: Magic or Sorcery at GM's discretion

Street Shaman: An urban magician who channels the energy, spirits and gods of the city

Knowledge (Occult), Perform (Rituals), Persuade, Sense, Etiquette (Street), Insight, plus four from the
following as personal specialisations: Fast Talk, Melee Weapon (Quarterstaff, Sword or Knife), Firearm
(Pistol), Knowledge (Blasphemous, Streetwise, Group[specific], Religion[specific]), Bargain, Research

Powers: Magic or Sorcery at GM's discretion

1) New BRP Skills
Skills from CP2020 which add some flavour to a BRP conversion: Personal Grooming, Wardrobe and
Style, Seduction, AV Tech, Gyro Tech, Cyberdeck Design, Interview, Interrogatation, Intimidate, Resist

2) Skill Descriptions
Art (Personal Grooming)

Knowing proper grooming, hair styling etc to increase APP and therefore the character's Charisma roll. It
takes 1 hour to properly groom oneself in the morning and the effect lasts 24 hours, unless disaster strikes
(e.g. falling into a sewer). Effects are cumulative with the Wardrobe and Style skill.

Art (Wardrobe and Style)

The skill of knowing what to wear and when. It takes 1 hour to dress to impress and a successful skill roll
can increase a character's APP as per Art (Personal Grooming). The effect lasts 24 hours, unless disaster
strikes. Effects are cumulative with the Personal Grooming skill.

Success Levels for Personal Grooming and Wardrobe and Style are as follows:

• FUMBLE: The character's APP decreases by 1D3

• FAILURE: The character's APP decreases by 1
• SUCCESS: APP increases by 1
• SPECIAL: APP increases by 1D3 to a maximum of 18
• CRITICAL: APP increases by 1D3 and may exceed 18

Art (Seduction)

This is the skill of forming and maintaining romantic relationships and a measure of how well the
character performs as a lover. It takes an indeterminate time to form such a relationship. For fast affairs
and hot dates, a simple skill roll will suffice. For more complex relationships, the conflict resolution
mechanics may be used

• FUMBLE: The seduction attempt fails, ending in a thrown drink, slap or verbal put-down.
• FAILURE: The attempt fails but with no loss of face
• SUCCESS: A one night stand or whirlwind romance ensues
• SPECIAL: This affair lasts longer than a week and may endure for some time
• CRITICAL: Love at first sight for at least one character which may or may not be true for the
other character

Pilot (AV)

AVs (aerodynamic vehicles or "aerodynes") are flying vehicles which use ducted fan technology for
flight. Levels of success and failure are as per the Pilot skill (BGB p.72).

Repair (AV Tech)

AVs (aerodynamic vehicles) are flying vehicles. Levels of success and failure are as per the Repair skill
(BGB p.73).

Repair (Gyro Tech)

Gyros are helicopters and gyrocopters. Levels of success and failure are as per the Repair skill (BGB

Technical Skill (Drones)

Drones are quad- or hex-drones (four or six-rotor flying drones) or fixed-wing unmanned aerial vehicles
(UAVs). This skill covers the use and maintenance of all drones, regardless of flight method. Levels of
success and failure as per the Technical Skill (BGB p.82).

Technical Skill (Cyberdeck Design)

Cyberdecks are used to connect to The NET, the vast virtual reality internet of the cyberpunk genre (see
The NET chapter for further details). Levels of success and failure as per the Technical Skill (BGB p.82).

Technical Skill (Cryotank)

Cryotanks are life suspension and body chilling devices, used for emergency treatment of serious trauma
injuries. A success can add 1/5 of Cryotank skill to the character's First Aid, Medicine or Cybernetics skill
rolls. Levels of success and failure as per the Technical Skill (BGB p.82).

Technical Skill (Photo and Film)

Photo and Film is the skill of making still shots and movies with cameras, getting the "right shot",
processing the film or images and (possibly) falsifying the images. Levels of success and failure are as
per the Technical Skill (BGB p.82).


The skill of extracting information (usually) from an unwilling subject. The "good cop/bad cop" routine
may work or extreme methods may be called for. Interrogation is a (loose) variant of Persuade and can be
used in the Conflict Resolution mechanics.

• FUMBLE: The subject resists interrogation and clams up or, in extreme cases, dies under
• FAILURE: The subject either will not comply or simply has no information to give
• SUCCESS: The subject spills all information requested by the interrogator
• SPECIAL: In addition to all requested information, one new fact emerges
• CRITICAL: As Special success with 1D3 new facts emerging


The skill of eliciting interesting anecdotes from an interviewee. The information will usually be non-
specific and of a personal nature, rather than detailed facts and secret. Done right, such an interview can
be entertaining and informative. If it goes wrong, the subject may leave the interview or out-and-out lie to
the questioner. If conducting an interview, the character should have an appropriate list of questions to
ask. Intimidate is a (loose) variant of Persuade and can be used in the Conflict Resolution mechanics.

• FUMBLE: The subject clams up and/or storms away from the interviewer
• FAILURE: The interview comes to a halt with no information forthcoming
• SUCCESS: The subject answers all questions to the interviewer's satisfaction
• SPECIAL: All answers are provided and one extra, usually previously unknown, fact emerges
• CRITICAL: All answers are provided and 1D3 extra, usually previously unknown, facts emerge


The ability to get people to do what you want by force of personality or physical coercion. As with
Persuade, Interrogate and Interview, Intimidate can be used with the Conflict Resolution mechanics. For
simple "muscle-jobs" use the following levels of success and failure.

• FUMBLE: The subject will not comply and may fight back, call the cops or rebel in other ways
• FAILURE: The subject refuses to comply and will not change their mind
• SUCCESS: The subject grudgingly complies and performs the bare minimum needed
• SPECIAL: The subject complies and does so quite cheerfully
• CRITICAL: The subject complies and goes above and beyond what is required

Resist Torture/Drugs

This skill is replaced with the Stamina roll and Conflict Resolution mechanics.

3) Status and Reputation

CP2020 has a reputation (REP) mechanic, where the character may become well known for doing what
he or she does best (or badly). This can be used to recognise a character or NPC by reputation and to
make a "facedown", an eye-to-eye challenge which could end in violence or with one party backing

In these crossover rules, all PCs should have a starting Status skill at 0% (not the 15% base score). Points
from the personal or professional points pools can be added to this starting level, subject to any caps the
GM may impose. The player should take care with his or her Status skill: it can be both good and bad to
be well known and what is good to one NPC may be very bad to another. Status skill levels may be
described as follows:

Status Skill Who Knows About You

01 - 10 Anyone who was there at the time knows
11 - 20 Stories have gotten around to immediate friends
21 - 30 All your co-workers and casual acquaintances know
31 - 40 Stories are all over the local area
41 - 50 Your name is recognised beyond your local area
51 - 60 You are known on sight by others beyond your local area
61 - 70 A news story or two has been written about you
71 - 80 Your exploits regularly make the headlines and screamsheets
81 - 90 Your exploits always make the news headlines and TV
91 - 100 You are known worldwide

See BGB p.79-80 for details of the Status skill.

1) The Human Cost of Cyberware
a) Techno Allegiance
Replacing "meat with metal" comes with a cost, over and above the financial, medical and healing
expenses. Some would say the human soul or spirit becomes damaged in some way. Others say that the
mind becomes "unhinged" as metal, plastics and electronics replace the nervous system and chunks of
cerebellum. Still others take the view that as devices become smarter, humanity itself must become more
machine-like in order to compete with our creations (this view, while in a minority, became more
prevalent when the first AI came online). Then there are those who revel in the "perfection of plastic, the
essence of electronics and the magnificence of metal". These and a dozen other viewpoints about
technology and its place in the human system permeate 21st Century culture.

In game, these concepts are simulated with Techno Allegiance, see BRP pp315-319. Much like devotion
to a cult or mythology in a fantasy RPG, Techno Allegiance represents the character's willingness to
embrace the technology of the era, to adopt it, adapt to it and use it as naturally as they would their own
limbs, eyes, ears and organs. At a minimum, Techno Allegiance signifies a resigned acceptance of the
ubiquity of technology. Taken to extremes, it screams that "metal is better than meat" and that being one
with the machine is the next step of human evolution. Somewhere in the middle, most people willingly
and unthinkingly use the technology to overcome physical disability, for an easy lifestyle, because
"everyone else does it" or to grab the latest "shiny" fad.

Each cyber enhancement has a Techno Allegiance cost. The more radical the enhancement, the higher the
cost. This adds to the character's Techno Allegiance score. As the allegiance increases, the more accepting
the character becomes to the technology and the more likely he or she is to want more enhancements to
approach technological perfection.

b) Starting Techno Allegiance

Humans babies, born of a natural mother, start with no cybernetic implants and, therefore, a Techno
Allegiance score of zero. As the child progresses to adulthood, and before any cybernetics are installed,
the character starts with 1D6-2 Techno Allegiance points (minimum zero) as the influence of everyday
technology makes itself felt on the youngster's life. A new PC, created with cybernetics, starts with a
Techno Allegiance score generated from the implants chosen.

c) Increasing Techno Allegiance

Actions that befit a technological approach to life in general can be awarded with an experience check of
the Techno Allegiance score. This is exactly the same as a skill check and, if successful, adds 1D6 to the
Techno Allegiance score.

d) The Benefits of Techno Allegiance

There are three benefits of Techno Allegiance. The GM should choose which of these approaches most
fits his or her campaign style or the player may select one of these options at the start of the campaign.

Once the character's Power Points are expended, he or she may use up to 1/10 of the current Techno
Allegiance score as an extra reserve of Power Points. These points must be drawn immediately after the
character's last natural Power Point has been expended, otherwise the character falls unconscious. This
temporary reserve can be called upon up to three times per game session.

Once per game session, the character may use up to 1/5 of his or her Techno Allegiance score as a pool of
temporary Hit Points. This pool is "damaged" first, before the character's real Hit Points. They cannot be
regenerated or healed in any way.

The character may draw upon his or her entire Techno Allegiance points as a pool of extra points to be
added to specific skill rolls. The allegiance points to be used must be declared before the dice are rolled
and do affect the chances of critical or special successes. These points may not be used for characteristic
or resistance table rolls.

e) Actions Befitting Techno Allegiance

The following are goals the character can aim for, to further embrace the Techno Allegiance cause.

• Having new cyberware fitted

• Inventing new cyberware
• Releasing plans for new cyberware to the public
• Controlling a device by cybernetic link

These goals award Techno Allegiance points specific to the device (see the cyberware descriptions for

Techno Allegiance points can be lost by

• Destroying an item of cyberware

• Having cyberware replaced with a biological transplant
• Reacting with revulsion at the sight of cyberware
• Having RealSkin coverings

f) Apotheosis
When the character reaches 100 in Techno Allegiance, he or she becomes a champion for the "supremacy
of metal over the weakness of the flesh". In CP2020 parlance, this is the equivalent of a "Full Borg"
transformation. The GM or player (with GM's permission) may choose one or two of these benefits of
fully embracing technology:

• Double Hit Points

• Double Power Points
• Double any three Technical Skill ratings
• Upgrades to existing implants
• Limited immortality: the character's skills and memories at the time of apotheosis are transferred
to a mainframe. If the character is killed, he or she "is restored from backup". Any skill upgrades
or memories from after the backup are lost.

g) Cyberpsychosis
Despite what the cyber-evangelists proclaim there have been some instances of people with technological
implants developing mental instabilities. These instances are becoming increasingly common. Whether
this is due to the devices themselves, inherent disorders or simply the pressures of life in the 21st century
cannot easily be determined. However, many people treated after such an incident have blamed the
cyberware installed in their bodies. The media frenzy surrounding events like a mass shooting by a
cybered-up office worker on the Metro have led the press to dub this disorder as Cyberpsychosis.

Psychiatrists and proponents of cyberware have tried to downplay the media's reporting of these incidents
but the concept of "Cyberpsychos" running amock in cities worldwide has caught the public's imagination
and the name has stuck.

In-game, Cyberpsychosis can arise when the character's Techno Allegiance score increases to above the
character's SAN. In this case, any stressful event (a gunfight, being dumped by a lover, losing a job,
running out of donuts) can trigger a psychotic episode. The higher the character's Techno Allegiance, the
more trivial the trigger event can be. Subtract the character's SAN from his or her Techno Allegiance
score and roll D100. If the roll is less than the remainder (of TA - SAN), then the character has suffered a
bout of temporary insanity, as per the Sanity rules in the BGB pp.321-328.

Temporary insanity can happen more than once. Each time it happens, the character loses 1D6 SAN,
which correspondingly increases the chance of insanity occurring again. If the character is unfortunate
enough to experience several episodes in quick succession, the temporary insanity becomes indefinite.
Over the course of time, if SAN falls to zero, the character becomes permanently insane.

Insanity can be treated as per the rules in the BRP rulebook.

2) Surgery, Damage and Healing

Elective surgery to install new cyberware causes damage to the character. This damage is (usually) caused
in a sterile, surgical environment, so there should be no chance of the character dying while "under the
knife". The number of Hit Points lost is equal to double the number of Hit Points in that location. See
BRP p.29 Hit Points by Hit Location for details. Use this chart even if the optional Hit Locations rules are
not being used in the campaign. The number of Hit Points damage sustained is equal to double the
location hit points because the surgical procedure is not a simple "plug and play" operation: it involves
nerve threaders, nanobots, bone surgery, blood transfusions and all maner of other medical processes.

For example, an average human has 10 Hit Points. If this character elects to have a cyberarm fitted, he or
she takes 6 Hit Points damage. This is the equivalent of a Major Wound for this character and he or she
will likely be bedridden until at least half the lost Hit Points (3 in this case) have healed. See the rules for
Damage and Healing, BRP pp.207-209.

3) Using Cyberware
Many items of cyberware use Power Points to activate them. Essentially, cyberware which simply
replaces an organic body-part requires no Power Points to operate. "Special features", that is upgrades
that go above and beyond normal human capabilities, such as infrared vision or ultrasonic hearing, do
require Power Points, usually a cost per round.

Full details are included with the cyberware's description.

4) Fashionware
Fashionware is the most casual grade of cyberware. Liberal parents even allow their offspring to have
light-tattoos, skin watches and tech-hair implants. The mantra amongst techno-fans seems to be "get 'em
while they're young".

Skinwatch: a subdermal watch, displaying HH:MM:SS in glowing LEDs through the skin. A single press
will display Day/Date/Year. Techno Allegiance Points: 2. PP to operate: 0

Tech-hair: Colour- and style-changing hair. May grow or shorten by up to 50%. Adds +10% to Disguise,
Wardrobe and Style and Personal Grooming skills. Techno Allegiance Points: 3. PP to operate: 1 (lasts 1
full turn or 5 minutes)

Light Tattoo: light-emitting body art. Styles and colours vary. Adds +10% to Wardrobe and Style skill.
Techno Allegiance Points: 2. PP to operate: 1

Biomonitor: Subdermal display of heart rate, blood pressure, glucose levels and so on. Adds +2 to the
character's CON when making Stamina rolls to resist torture and drugs. Techno Allegiance Points: 4. PP
to operate: 1

5) Neuralware
Nanobots are injected into the character's nervous system, re-wiring as they go. Most neuralware is
available in levels of 1 to 5. Bonuses to skills and characteristics are dependent on the level installed.

Reflex Booster: Adds +1 to +5 bonus to the character's DEX when determining initiative and/or DEX
strike ranks. Increases base Dodge skill to DEX x bonus. Techno Allegiance Points: 1D6 + Level. PP to
operate: 1 per combat round

Tactile Boost: Grants +10% bonus per level to Search rolls involving touch. Techno Allegiance Points:
1D6 + level. PP to operate: 1 per minute spent searching.

Olfactory Boost: Grants +10% bonus to per level Sense rolls involving scent. Techno Allegiance Points:
1D6 + level. PP to operate: 1 per minute spent sensing.

Interface Socket: Allows direct connection to weapons, vehicles and machines. Adds +10% per level to
relevant skills. One socket per device. Techno Allegiance Points: 1D6 + level. PP to operate: 1 per full
turn of operation.

Chip Socket: For connection of memory and skill chips. A single socket allows up to 5 chips to be loaded
and this device can be installed multiple times. Techno Allegiance Points: 1D6. PP to operate: 1

6) Cranial Implants
a) Bionic Eyes (Techno Allegiance Points: 2D6 PP to operate: 0)
A normal bionic eye replaces the character's natural eye and is functionally identical, granting no bonuses
or penalties to skill rolls. An eye may be upgraded with up to two of the following features. Doubtless
others are available. Some devices activate automatically (e.g. Flash Protection) and therefore can cause
unconsciousness if Power Points are drained to zero even if the character does not want that to happen.

Targeter: A targeter is an advanced weapon sight, granting +20% to hit with one ranged weapon of the
character's choice in each combat round. The weapon must be "targeter enhanced" and a connection has
to be made with the character's Interface Socket. Techno Allegiance Points: 2. PP to operate: 1 per combat
Dart Gun: The eye houses a tiny dart gun with limited range (5metres). The character should have
Ranged Weapon (Dart Gun) skill to use this weapon effectively. Damage 1D2; usually poisoned; single
shot; 2 combat rounds to reload. Techno Allegiance Points: 5. PP to operate: 1

Digital Camera: shoots up to 20 images or 20 minutes of video. Techno Allegiance Points: 2. PP to

operate: 1 per photograph or per minute of video.

Image Enhancer: grants +20% on Spot tests for visual searches. Techno Allegiance Points: 2. PP to
operate: 1 per minute of visual searching.

Flash Protection: Works instantly and grants immunity to flashes, laser blinding. No need for
mirrorshades! Techno Allegiance Points: 2. PP to operate: 2 per use.

Infrared: See in total darkness using heat emissions. Techno Allegiance Points: 5. PP to operate: 1 per

Low-Light: See in dim light and almost total darkness. See Spot Rules for Darkness, BRP p.220. Techno
Allegiance Points: 5. PP to operate: 1 per minute.

b) Bionic Ears (Techno Allegiance Points: 2D6 PP to operate: 0)

A normal bionic ear replaces the character's natural ear and is functionally identical, granting no bonuses
or penalties to skill rolls. Bionic hearing may be upgraded with up to two of the following options.

Comm-link: This is a functional two-way radio with range up to 10km. Techno Allegiance Points: 3. PP
to operate: 1 per minute.

Phone-link: This is a built in cellular mobile phone. Techno Allegiance Points: 2. PP to operate: 2 per call
(incoming or outgoing)

Voice Stress Analyser: Analyses the stresses in a person's voice and grants +20% to Insight tests when
detecting lies or hidden truths. Techno Allegiance Points: 5. PP to operate: 1 per minute.

Enhanced Hearing Range: Grants the ability to hear super- and subsonic ranges, giving +20% on all
Listen tests. Techno Allegiance Points: 5. PP to operate: 1 per minute.

c) Other
Cortex Bomb: A small amount of explosive is implanted at the base of the victim's brain stem. If
triggered (remotely, with a hidden command word or if outside a specific location) the bomb detonates,
killing the character instantly. Often used as a coercion tool. Techno Allegiance Points: 2D6. PP to
operate: 0

7) Limbs
a) Bionic Arm (Techno Allegiance Points: 2D6 PP to operate: 0)
A normal bionic arm replaces the character's flesh-and-blood arm and is functionally identical, granting
no bonuses or penalties to skill rolls. An arm may be fitted with up to three additional enhancements, each
of which cause additional SAN loss. Some are listed below.

Built-in Melee Weapon: Retractable knives, short swords, brass knuckles and shock-whips can be fitted
into a bionic arm. These count as fully-functional melee weapons though the character should have the
relevant skill to use it effectively. Techno Allegiance Points: 5. PP to operate: 1 per combat round

Built-in Pistol Weapon: Any Pistol-class weapon can be fitted to a bionic arm. The character should
have the relevant skill to use it effectively. Techno Allegiance Points: 5. PP to operate: 1 per combat round

Quick Change Mount: Allows changing of hand or the entire arm in 1 combat round. Techno Allegiance
Points: 5. PP to operate: 1 per quick change

Reinforced Joints: Adds 2 (or 1D4) points of armour to that location. Increases Effort roll to STR x 10
when activated. Techno Allegiance Points: 6. PP to operate: 2

Grapnel: The hand is a grapnel launcher (the fingers fold back to form the hooks) with 30metres of line
and able to support 100kg. Techno Allegiance Points: 5. PP to operate: 1

Tool Attachment: The hand is fitted with a range of small tools: screwdriver with interchangable heads;
adjustable wrench; soldering iron; adjustable socket wrench; the lower edge of the palm is hardened and
may be used as a hammer . Techno Allegiance Points: 5. PP to operate: 1 per minute

Real-skin: This is a synthetic or vat-grown covering that matches the owner's original skin tone. This
natural look makes the arm feel less foreign or weird to the wearer and so reduces Techno Allegiance by
two points (to a minimum of one). Techno Allegiance Points: -2 (to a minimum of 1). PP to operate: 0

b) Bionic Leg (Techno Allegiance Points: 2D6 PP to operate: 0)

A normal bionic leg replaces the character's natural leg and is functionally identical, granting no bonuses
or penalties to skill rolls. A leg may be fitted with up to two additional enhancements, each of which
increase Techno Allegiance. Some are listed below.

Reinforced Joints: Adds 2 (or 1D4) points of armour to that location. Increases Effort roll to STR x 10
when activated. Techno Allegiance Points: 6. PP to operate: 2

Magboots: The feet have magnetic soles and thus can cling to metallic surfaces (technically speaking
ferrous-based metals). Adds +20% to Climb skill on metal surfaces. Techno Allegiance Points: 5. PP to
operate: 1 per combat round spent climbing

Talons: The feet have retractable blades built into the toes. These can be used as pitons to aid climbing
(+10%) or as knives in melee (1D4+db damage from a kick attack). When used, however, Talons will
puncture any boots or clothing the character is wearing, which can be disastrous if the character is
wearing a space suit or diving equipment. Techno Allegiance Points: 5. PP to operate: 1 per kick or brawl
attack used.

Storage Space: Sufficient room to store one pistol, knife, grenade, small tool-kit or similar small item is
concealed within the leg's structure. Techno Allegiance Points: 4. PP to operate: 1 (to open and close)

Real-skin: This is a synthetic or vat-grown covering that matches the owner's original skin tone. This
natural look makes the arm feel less foreign or weird to the wearer and so reduces Techno Allegiance by
two points (to a minimum of one). Techno Allegiance Points: -2 (to a minimum of one). PP to operate: 0

8) Body Implants
Bionic Lungs: This grants +5 CON when resisting airborne diseases and toxic gases. The +5 CON is
added before making the Resistance Table roll and does not add to the character's hit points or Stamina
rolls. Such implants also include a limited oxygen supply, which lasts for 1 hour, and allows the character
to breathe in vacuum or underwater but will not protect against other debilitating effects of these
environments (extreme cold, water pressure etc). Techno Allegiance Points: 2D6. PP to operate: 1 per
minute in hostile environments.

Sub-skin armour: Grants +2 Armour protection (or 1D4 if random armour values are being used) on all
locations, including the head. Sub-skin armour can be combined with Voidskin. Techno Allegiance Points:
2D6. PP to operate: 0 (activated all the time)

Synthetic Muscle Grafts: This does not directly increase the character's STR characteristic but does
increase the STR value used when making Effort rolls by up to 5 points, depending on the level installed.
A character with STR 11 uses STR 11 when determining equipment loads, weapon STR requirements,
ENC and so on, but adds +2 for a total of (11+2=) 13 when making Effort rolls (13x5=) 65%. Techno
Allegiance Points: 2D6. PP to operate: 1 per combat round.

Enhanced Antibodies: Add +1 to +5 CON when making POT vs. CON rolls to resist disease. Improve
healing rates if illness does strike. Techno Allegiance Points: 1D6. PP to operate: 0 (always active).

Anti-toxins: Add +1 to +5 CON when making POT vs. CON rolls to resist poisons. Techno Allegiance
Points: 1D6. PP to operate: 0 (always active).

Nanosurgeons: Doubles healing rates (see BRP pp.207-209). Techno Allegiance Points: 1D6. PP to
operate: 3

8) Skill Chips
a) Appearance
Physically, chips are usually about 1cm-square, with gold contacts and a plastic backing (various colours
are available). Sometimes the casing has been modified to appear different (a chip which looks like a
worm burrowing into the user's head is a particularly gruesome variant) but the chip's encoded skill is

b) Types of Skill Chips

There are two classes of skill chips: Knowledge and Active. Both classes replicate skills from the BRP
rulebook, though they do so in radically different ways. Knowledge skills are essentially databases with
inbuilt natural language search capability, allowing the user to "think" a query and have the chip relay the
information to the user. Active chips are "recordings" of another person performing a particular action.
Neural pathways and brain activity of that person are mapped onto the chip which "replays" the recording
through the user's own nervous system.

c) Limitations
Chipped skills have certain limitations. These are:

• Skill chips are typically rated in the 20% to 50% range (D4+1 x 10).
• Chipped skills override the user's natural skills. If a character with Firearms (Pistol) 50% in real
life plugs in a Firearms (Pistol) rated at 30%, the user's skill will drop to 30%.
• Chipped skills cannot improve and never have experience checks.
• Skill Group Bonuses do not increase a chipped skill; they are natural bonuses and the chip
overrides natural impulses.
• A user is limited to EDU x 10 chipped skill percentage points. e.g. for a user with EDU 10 (x10) is
100 points of chipped skills he or she may have "installed".

9) Example Character
Consider the following character:

Name: Jimi Martinez, Solo

Characteristics: STR [12] CON [12] SIZ [14] INT [15] POW [9] DEX [8] APP [9] EDU [12]
SCB: Combat 1% Communication 5% Manipulation 1% Mental 6% Perception 6% Physical -4%
Combat: Hit Points=13 Major Wound Level=7
Stat Rolls: Effort 60% Stamina 60% Idea 75% Luck 45% Agility 40% Charisma 45% Know
Derived: PP=9 XP=8 FP=24 SAN=45% DB=+1D4 MOV [10]
Skills: Firearms (Pistol) 91%, Firearms (SMG) 71%, Firearms (Rifle) 51%, Spot 51%,
Martial Arts 22%, Combat Knife 51%, Brawl 46%, Stealth 26%, Listen 36%, Technical
Skill (WeaponsTech) 22%

Jimi elects to have cyberware installed and runs through a shopping list at the local Parts Mart boutique.
He chooses

• Synthetic Muscle Grafts: Techno Allegiance Points: 2D6 roll = 6

• Sub-skin Armour: Techno Allegiance Points: 2D6 roll = 9
• A Bionic arm with built-in Combat Knife: Techno Allegiance Points: 2D6 roll 9 + 5 = 14
• A Cybereye with Targeter: Techno Allegiance Points: 2D6 roll 9 + 2 for the targeter = 11
• A Cybereye with Low-light: Techno Allegiance Points: 2D6 roll 6 + 2 for the low-light = 8
• Reflex Boosters (Level 3): Techno Allegiance Points: 1D6 roll 1 + 3 for the level = 4
• Interface Socket (Level 2): Techno Allegiance Points: 1D6 roll 4 + 2 for the level = 6

This is a total Techno Allegiance Score of 58.

On the plus side, Jimi gains

• +20% to hit with his targeter enhanced pistol, combined with the cybereye, taking his skill with
that weapon to 111%.
• +2 or +1D4 armour protection on all locations
• A chromed cyberarm with concealed Combat Knife
• Cybereye with Targeter for +20% to hit with any targeter enhanced ranged weapon
• Cybereye with Low-light to see in near-total darkness
• Fast reflexes, which grant +3 DEX when determining initiative and take his base Dodge to DEX x
3 (24%)
• Interface Socket which grants +20% to relevant skills when connected to the device (vehicle,
machine, weapon)

The downside is that Jimi's TA score is 58 but his SAN is only 45. This gives him a (58 - 45 =) 13%
chance of developing a temporary insanity under stressful conditions (at GM's discretion).

1) The Cyberpunk Network
The Cyberpunk Network, or CyberNet as it is often called, is the cyberpunk genre's Virtual Reality
"consensual hallucination" version of today's Internet.

The present-day Internet exists physically as a world-spanning array of servers, storage nodes, personal
computers, routers, switches and a vast array of network-attached peripherals which, in the early 21st
century, is referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT). Even simple use of this network on a day-to-day
basis - let alone control of it in any way - is a mammoth task for its human operators, a task which is
growing exponentially as more devices come on line. Touchscreens, virtual reality headsets, goggles and
gloves - themselves part of the IoT - have become smaller, faster and, above all, cheaper, becoming
widespread almost overnight.

The advent of cybertechnology and mind-machine interfaces over the last 20 years have all but eliminated
such devices in favour of a cranial jack plug which allows direct connection of the computer to the brain
of the user.

Thus was born the CyberNet, a virtual reality abstraction of the complex commands needed to interact
with a modern computer system. Operators can now simply "think" a command, CyberNet translates that
thought into machine language, and the command is executed by the system.

2) Cyberdecks
a) Physical Stats
Cyberdecks are treated as "Equipment with Characteristics" and "Equipment with Skills" (BGB p.243 -
244). They do not have STR, CON, POW or DEX. All decks have INT, SIZ and Hit Points (based on SIZ)
and some may have armour. In the fashion-conscious near-future,, some models have APP. These
characteristics are used in the physical world, for example, if a deck is dropped or caught in a grenade
blast, to see if it suffers damage. The characteristics as applied to physical cyberdecks are described


Cyberdecks are usually SIZ 0, 1 or 2, ranging in physical size from about the size of a pocket calculator
(SIZ 0) to that of a modern laptop (SIZ 2).


The INT of a cyberdeck represents its internal memory and storage (in present-day computers, this is
usually RAM and a hard disk or solid state storage device). It does not represent thinking capabilities,
problem solving or intuition (BGB p.243). INT ranges from 1 to 21, with the average being 11.


Some cyberdecks are stylishly designed, as much a fashion accessory as a working computer. The APP
may rolled on 2D6 or even 3D6 if desired.


A deck's EDU represents the number of skill points which may be allocated to any skills, knowledge
databases, languages and so on that the deck is programmed with. Typically EDU x 10 points are
available. See Skills below for details.

Hit Points

Base HP are equal to the deck's SIZ rating. If reduced to zero, the deck is destroyed.


Military Specification cyberdecks may be ruggedised or hardened to add some protection against
battlefield damage. Armour is usually in the range 0 to 3. This may be generated randomly with D4-1.


Many decks have in-built expert systems, databases, multiple CPUs and co-processors. These systems
grant the deck skills which may be used by the player character. Some examples include:

• Knowledge (any): Databases of factual information, available in many subjects

• Repair (any): Technical schematics for hundreds of items
• Teach: An interactive tutor program which can impart a 1D6% increase in the user's skill
• Language (any): Used for verbal communication with the deck's user and/or others
• Research (electronic media): The skill of searching CyberNet databases for information
Skill levels are set by allocating skill points from the EDU x 10 points pool. Typically skills are in the 10
to 50 percentile range. Programmed skills of this nature are static. They cannot be increased through use
or experience checks. They can be reprogrammed (upgrading can be costly) or they can be "swapped out"
on a mission-by-mission basis, as the user decides.

The machine may have any combination of Skills and Programs installed in its INT. Each program or
skill takes up one INT point and the maximum number of such is equal to the deck's INT. The
professional hacker does not fill his deck's INT with unnecessary programs and skills: some free INT is
needed to download "paydata" from a target system.

b) NET Stats
In the NET, the cyberdeck is represented by its icon, an avatar in the vast virtual reality that is the
Cyberpunk Network. This icon is specially crafted by the deck's owner. When "jacked in" to CyberNet, an
icon has all the characteristics a normal player character would have.


The offensive power of the deck when attempting to attack a rival computer.


In the abstract scale of the CyberNet, icons appear mostly human-sized, as in the real world. Some icons
are huge, others tiny. In general, SIZ is 10. SIZ may be represented as a split stat, the physical size and the
CyberNet size, separated by a slash. Thus a deck with SIZ [1/10] has a real-world size of 1 and a
CyberNet size of 10.


A measure of the deck's networked toughness, that is, how well it can withstand attacks, intrusions and
viruses that attempt to compromise the system.


This is the single real-world characteristic that translates directly from the real-world into CyberNet. A
deck's INT is equal to the user's INT. In addition, the deck has its own INT, that used for data storage, so
INT is represented as a split stat, thus: INT [5/13] which means the deck's storage is 5 and the user's INT
is 13. One does not affect the other. INT is used for initiative in cybercombat.


A measure of the deck's processing power, computation speed and "CPU grunt".


This is the deck's "speed" in the CyberNet. It affects how quickly a deck can respond to threats in
cybercombat. The Evasion rating, based on DEX, acts like the Dodge skill would in physical combat.


An entirely arbitrary value. Used in conjunction with SIZ, the user can specify the icon's appearance in
the CyberNet. The player is encouraged to design a unique APPearance for their icon. As with SIZ and
INT, APP may be represented as a split stat, comprising its physical APP and CyberNet APP, thus: APP
[7/14], for a sleek, glossy black device with blue LED running lights, with a CyberNet icon representing a
neon samurai warrior.

The deck's EDU manifests as its Skills while jacked in to the CyberNet.

Hit Points

It is assumed the hacker is smart enough to install protective hardware and software on the deck. A deck's
Hit Points are therefore equal to the hacker's INT. When a deck's Hit Points reach zero, the deck crashes.
Note: damage to the deck's Hit Points do not affect the hacker's real-world INT in any way.


Armour programs may be run on the deck. These protect the system's Hit Points.

c) Generating Cyberdeck Characteristics

Base characteristics for an "off the shelf" cyberdeck can be generated below. The Hacker may then pay
for modifications or customise the deck personally using the Technical Skill (Cyberdecks) skill.

Skill Points
Cyberdeck 1D6 1D6 1D3-1 1D6+1 1D6+1 1D6 1D6 1D6+1 0
EDU x 10

3) Programs
Programs can be deployed on any system that connects to the CyberNet. Thus, the examples given below
can be installed on everything from lowly smartphones to massive corporate datacentres. For practical
purposes, these rules concentrate on programs deployed to cyberdecks and those systems most actively
invaded by PC hackers.

The following are examples only. The GM should encourage imaginative icons for these programs'
representation in the CyberNet.

a) Program Characteristics
Cybercombat programs have their own STR and CON to reflect how powerful and resistant they are in
CyberNet. Some programs have an APP score, particularly if their icons have been customised. These
characteristics are used on the Resistance Table, rather like Power Points would be used for Magic spells.
Utility and controller programs need no STR or CON as they are (rarely) used in cybercombat.

There are several classes of programs.

b) Offensive Programs
Attack programs run on the target computer and therefore need a Technical Skill (Computer Use) skill roll
to execute.

Crack STR 1D6+3, CON 1D6+3

A password cracking tool which brute-forces its way through entry points using billions of possible
password combinations.

Slow STR 1D6+3, CON 1D6+3

Slows the operation of a system. If run successfully, one of the system's CPUs is "tied up" for 2D6
combat rounds.
Blaster STR 1D6+4, CON 1D6

A program which attacks CyberNet icons such as other programs, walls and gateways.

c) Defensive Programs
Defense programs run on the user's own deck, therefore no skill roll is needed to execute them.

Firewall STR 1D6, CON 1D6+4

A basic defense tool which blocks incoming network signals.

Anti-Virus STR 1D6+3, CON 1D6

Fight Virus attacks with Anti-Virus.

Armour STR 1D6+3, CON 1D6

A protective program, designed to reduce damage from incoming attacks. Prevents 1D4 damage affecting
a deck or system.

d) Utility Programs
Utility programs may run on either the user's machine or on a target system. If the latter (e.g. using
Downloader to copy files from the target system) then a Technical Skill (Computer Use) skill roll is


A file-grabber program which copies files from the target system. Takes 1D3 rounds to download a file
(dependent on bandwidth, processor load and so on).


A means of organising information so it can be readily searched. With a Database running for a particular
subject, Research (subject) tasks become Easy. It takes D6+1 rounds to organise raw data into a
searchable Database.


Makes a copy of a program or data file in case the original gets stolen or erased. Takes 1D3 rounds to
duplicate a file. 1D3+3 rounds are needed to copy a file to external storage media (a memory chip that
can be removed from the deck).


A complex encryption and decryption program. Crypto uses a password (chosen by the user) and the
system or cyberdeck's INT as a measure of the encryption's sophistication. i.e. if used to encrypt a file on
a system with INT 12, then that file is said to be "locked with Crypto-12". To decrypt the file needs a
Resistance Table roll of the system or deck's INT versus INT 12. Secure encryption of a file takes 1D6 x
10 minutes; decryption of the same file takes 1D6 hours. If the password is known, decryption takes 1D6
x 10 minutes.

e) Controllers
Controller programs typically run on the target system, so a Technical Skill (Computer Use) skill roll is
needed. If the user's own deck has such peripherals, however, then the programs run "internally" and no
skill roll is required.


Controls physical 2D and 3D printers

Video Display

Allows messages, pictures and video to be displayed on, or captured from, video screens.


Allows computer controlled doors to be opened, closed, locked or unlocked.

Video Cameras

Taps into the video feeds of security and CCTV cameras

f) Access Control Programs

These are gateways into, out of and inside systems. Most systems have at least one of these programs,
otherwise they would not be accessible from the CyberNet. However, such access software is not
compulsory. Particularly secure systems have no CyberNet connection and can only be accessed from
terminals and workstations hardwired to the system (usually in a heavily guarded corporate office

Gateway STR 1D6+3 CON 1D6+4

A standard construct used on a daily basis when users log in to the system. Can be Cracked or destroyed.

Vault Door STR 1D6+3 CON 2D6+3

A heavy-duty gateway program, often connecting to highly secure systems.

g) Counterattack Software (CAS) Programs

CAS programs require sophisticated hardware and custom processors to run. Each of the programs listed
below has a "CPU requirement", reflecting the amount of processing power needed to run them. Thus,
they are unlikely to be found running in a garden-variety hacker's cyberdeck. In many cases the attack and
defense programs available to a hacker are stripped-down versions of CAS programs, optimised to run in
lower-powered systems. Typical CAS programs are listed below:

Barrier STR 2D6, CON 3D6, CPUs 2

A wall surrounding the entire system.

Force Field STR 2D6, CON 3D6, CPUs 3

A force wall, often built into the system internals to protect certain areas

Hard Wall STR 3D6, CON 4D6, CPUs 4

An upgraded Barrier program

Burner STR 3D6, CON 2D6, CPUs 2

A program which overheats and damages a deck's physical Hit Points. Causes 1D6 damage if executed

Track and Trace STR 2D6, CON 2D6, CPUs 2

A program which traces the deck's connection back to a location in the real world. Matches system INT
versus intruder's INT to perform a trace, which takes 1D3 rounds to complete.


Short for "man in the middle" this program taps into the hacker's connection and diverts it to another
system for interrogation, capture until the realspace location can be found or even "deletion".

Blocker STR 3D6, CON 2D6, CPUs 2

A program that prevents a hacker logging out. The effect lasts 1D6 rounds, which may be long enough for
a Track and Trace program to complete its trace. The Blocker program runs on the intruding deck.

Each CAS program occupies one point of the system's INT rating. When designing a system, the GM is
free to "populate" the system's INT (memory) with up to half INT CAS programs (just as if populating a
dungeon with orcs, goblins and traps).

h) Programming on the fly

If a situation arises where an appropriate program is not available (e.g. it was not installed before the run
or has crashed) the hacker is able to program a solution there and then.

This requires a Technical Skill (Computer Programming) skill roll. (At GM's discretion, this skill may be
increased by 1/5 of the hacker's Technical Skill (Computer Use).) The roll is Easy on White systems;
Difficult on Black systems; and Normal on all Grey systems. Programming like this takes 1D6+1 rounds.
We can imagine the hacker using existing code libraries; the system's own operating system code; copies
of existing programs; and his own code. This is all "kludged" together as a one-off program, suitable for
use on this run but little else.

For programs rated with STR and CON, these characteristics can be generated on D4+2. Due to
inefficient coding, incompatible libraries and old software used in such programs, they occupy two INT
points in the user's deck instead of one.

i) Programming for real

The professional hacker usually does not buy programs "off the shelf", whether that shelf is in a
legitimate store or on some grey-market CyberNet bazaar. Often, the hacker will write their own code,
partly from professional pride, partly from not trusting other sources and partly for the sheer joy and
interest of coding their own applications.

Programming is a Technical Skill (Computer Programming) skill roll. The levels of success on BRP p.82
can be used to ascertain the quality of the code. See below for further details:

• FUMBLE: The code is faulty in such a way that it immediately crashes. The hacker can make a
Luck roll. If this is failed, one item of hardware or software on the hacker's deck is also destroyed.
• FAILURE: The hacker cannot write the application, the code is shoddy and simply does not work.
• SUCCESS: The code is complete and works successfully. STR and CON of attack and defense
programs are rolled on 1D6+3.
• SPECIAL: The code is exceptional. STR and CON of attack and defense programs are rolled on
1D6+5. Utility and controller programs function in half the time.
• CRITICAL: The code is masterful. STR and CON of attack and defense programs are rolled on
1D10+5. When running utility and controller programs, the program becomes Easy to run on a
target system.

Creating a unique icon for the program is an Art (Icon Design) or Craft (Icon Sculpture) skill roll. See Art
(BRP pp.50-51) and Craft (BRP p.54) for levels of success. The player is encouraged to describe the icon:
detailed description can grant a bonus to the Art or Craft skill roll (GM's discretion).

j) Black ICE
There are rumours circulating some of the seedier chatrooms of the CyberNet that some CAS programs
are capable of inducing lethal biofeedback directly into the cranium of an attacking hacker. While many
of these rumours are discounted as "bit rot infecting the brain" of those who spread them or by "isn't that
why fuses were invented?", the deaths of known hackers from causes such as heart failure, cranial blood-
clots and combination of dehydration and starvation cannot easily be swept away. The common factor
seems to be that all the hackers were logged into the CyberNet at time of death and no external causes
could be found.

4) Designing Systems
a) System Class
Each system is classified into one of several levels:

White systems are typically public access networks. Grey 1, 2 and 3 reflect increasing levels of security
for corporate, government, military, banks, hospitals and so on. Black systems are the "Above Top Secret"
networks used for corporate, government or military applications.

The system's Class reflects increasing levels of security, complexity and, in many cases, the value of data
hosted on that system.

b) System Characteristics
A system has the same characteristics as an NPC: STR, CON, SIZ, INT, POW, DEX and EDU. Some
systems even have an APP rating.


The power of the system when it is directly attacking intruders (this is the case if the system has no attack
programs installed). When programs are attacking intruders, use the program's STR.


The toughness of the system when it is directly resisting attack (this is the case if the system has no
defense programs installed). When programs are being attacked by intruders, use the program's CON.


An indication of the CyberNet representation of the system's icon. Many large corporate systems are the
SIZ of an office block, modelled to look like the corporate's physical offices in the real world. This has no
real effect in game but serves to make the system look formidable in CyberNet.


The INT of a system represents its internal memory and storage (in present-day computers, this is usually
RAM, network storage and RAID arrays). It does not represent thinking capabilities, problem solving or
intuition (BGB p.243). However, systems with INT 18 or higher may be Artificial Intelligences whose
INT then functions like a human's INT. It is used for initiative in cybercombat.


The raw processing power of the system. Systems with high POW are be able to perform multiple actions
in normal processing or even cybercombat.


The system's speed. It determines a system's Evasion rating, which acts like a Dodge skill in physical
combat. In some systems, particularly those used in manufacturing, DEX also reflects the level of skill
with which items are made and the precision with which robotic tools can be used.


Indicates the level of detail and sophistication the system's virtual reality is imbued with (APP 16+
indicates photorealistic levels). APP reflects the system owner's "presence" or how the organisation
presents itself within the virtual reality of the CyberNet.


This indicates the number of points that can be allocated to any skills the system may be programmed
with. Skill points are usually EDU x 10, though particularly powerful systems may have many more. See
the Characteristics Table below for suggested point levels.

Hit Points

Since the system's SIZ is abstract - and can vary due to the CyberNet's interpretation of the icon relative
to the users' icons within the system - a system's Hit Points are equal to CON x 2. Hit Points represent the
system's integrity, fault tolerance and self-repair functions.


Some military grade and higher systems have an armour rating. This protects against hardware failure
(whether from operational wear and tear or intrusion damage). The Characteristics Table below includes
an armour value for the system.


As with cyberdecks, many computer systems have in-built expert systems, databases, multiple CPUs and
co-processors. These systems grant the computer skills which may be used by the Super User or an
enterprising Netrunner who gains access to the system. Some examples include:

Knowledge (any), Repair (any), Teach, Language (any), Research (electronic media), Fine Manipulation

If the system has manipulators built in, it may be able to effect repairs to equipment (including its own


The system may have installed any of the programs described in section 3) Programs. This includes
Counterattack Software (CAS) programs, controller programs for various peripherals and attack/defense
c) Generating Characteristics
Any of the methods for generating characters (BGB p.16-19) can be used to generate the characteristics of
a computer system. Alternatively, the table below can be used to generate system characteristics:

Skill Points
White 1D6 1D6 1D10 1D6+1 1D6+1 1D6 1D6 1D6+1 0
EDU x 5
Grey 1 2D6 2D6 2D6 2D6+3 2D6+3 1D6+3 1D6 2D6+1 1D3
EDU x 10
Grey 2 2D6 2D6 2D6 2D6+5 2D6+5 1D6+5 1D6+1 3D6 1D6
EDU x 10
Grey 3 3D6 3D6 2D6+6 2D6+6 3D6 2D6+5 2D6+1 4D6 1D8
EDU x 20
Black 4D6 4D6 3D6+6 3D6+6 3D6 3D6+6 3D6+1 5D6 1D10
EDU x 40

d) Super Users
Super Users are the system's operators (variously referred to as root, SysOps, admin, administrator or
(derogatorily) SysApes). They are essentially corporate-employed Netrunners whose task is to defend the
corporate systems from intrusion. The GM should generate each Super User as an NPC and equip them
with cyberdecks and programs as necessary.

e) Alert States
Alert States simulate the system's security awareness and fault tolerance. There are three Alert States:

• No Alert: the system's normal functioning state

• Passive Alert: the system has detected suspicious activity and attempts to investigate
• Active Alert: the system is sure it has been compromised and takes steps to neutralise the threat

Most systems will start with an Alert State of No Alert and with an Alert Level from the table below
(either selected from the mid-range or randomly rolled). The Operations Count, a tally of the number of
errors a Netrunner makes during an intrusion attempt, usually starts at zero.

During the intrusion attempt, the GM should track the number of operations made by the Netrunner while
attempting to access, or while logged in to, the system; this is the Operations Count or OC. Particularly
skilful hackers (i.e. those lucky enough to roll Critical or Special successes) may be able to cover their
tracks and actually reduce the Operations Count during the run.

When the Operations Count equals or exceeds the system's Alert Level, the Alert State increases by one
level. The GM's Operations Count resets to zero and the count begins again until it reaches the Alert
Level again, at which time the Alert Level increases. As can be seen from the table below, Black systems
are much less tolerant of suspicious activity and will increase in Alert State with only four unauthorised
operations made.

System Type Base Alert Level Random Alert Level

White 9 - 12 3D6
Grey 1 9 2D6+2
Grey 2 7 2D6
Grey 3 5 - 6 D6+2
Black 4 - 5 1D6+1

During an intrusion incident (a netrun), a system may change its Alert State if affected by the actions of
an intruding Netrunner. For example, a White system has a Base Alert Level of 10 (chosen by the GM).
The system starts at an Alert State of No Alert. If a Netrunner attacks this system and makes up to 9
operations, the system carries on as if all was well. As soon as the 10th mistake is made, the system
moves to Passive Alert and the Operations Count resets to zero. A further 10 mistakes by the Netrunner
will trigger an Active Alert state.

It can be assumed that, after an intrusion, a system remains at a higher state of alertness. The Operations
Count decreases by one per hour after a hacker has logged out. If the Alert State has increased, it will
decrease as the OC decreases. The White system in the example above, has moved to an Active Alert
state. It will take 10 hours to lower its defenses from Active to Passive Alert state and a further 10 hours
to reduce from Passive Alert to No Alert status.

An alternative Alert Level can be set by subtracting the system's INT from 21. For example, a system
with INT 9 has an alert level of (21 - 9 =) 12. This reflects the system's in-built security awareness. If
scenario circumstances dictate, for example if the team has been compromised in some way or the
system's owners are just paranoid, the GM may start with an Operations Count greater than zero.

f) System Components
A system consists of many components. The most important are CPUs, Memory, Datastores and Access
Points. Other components are peripherals, such as printers, cameras and doors. The GM should determine
which components are present and, if applicable, how many of each there are. For example, there could
be two Elevator controllers, one for the staff elevators, the second for the freight elevator. Which of these
components a hacker needs to assume control over will be scenario dependent.

CPUs: The Central Processor Unit controls the entire operation of the system. In a present-day system, a
CPU is a single chip, perhaps with multiple "cores". In the CyberNet, "one CPU" may be banks of such
multi-core processors, interconnected so the individual chips work together as a single unit. They are
represented by the POW of the system. It can be assumed that five points of POW represents one CPU.
For machines with a POW which is not evenly divisible by 5 (POW 12, for instance), the extra POW
points can be made up of computational, graphical, networking and interface co-processors built into the
machine. For each CPU, the system may perform one action in normal processing or cybercombat.

Memory: an abstract of the physical Random Access Memory (RAM) in the machine plus any network
attached storage devices, RAID arrays, solid state memory devices and so on. It is represented by the INT
of the system. Assume one INT point represents 500Gb of Memory storage.

Datastores: the vast majority of a system's INT is occupied with datastores. These are where the
important files reside, for example: Personnel details; Industrial processes; Design schematics; Building
plans; Research and Development; Marketing ideas; Customer details; Product Specifications;
Accounting records; Knowledge databases; Grey Ops plans; Black Ops plans; Slush funds. If it can be
digitised, it can be found in a datastore. It helps if the GM has a good idea of what's on file and how it
will affect the scenario (and future scenarios). Even minor details, like the launch plans for a new brand of
toothpaste, can be worth a fortune to the right people.

Access Points: Legitimate users use access points to log in to the system for their work. Access points
can be bypassed with the right tools (like the Crack program) or using credentials stolen or otherwise co-
opted from legitimate users.

Gateways: Gateways exist to connect a system to other systems. It is not best practice to house access
gateways to other systems from lightly defended, publicly accessible systems but some systems do have
such backdoors in systems which should be more secure. Some of these gateways are "old code", having
been programmed years previously and forgotten about. Others are deliberately placed to lure
unsuspecting hackers into a trap. Knowledge of such backdoors is like gold dust to a hacker.

Workstations: terminals where the vast majority of the corporation's wageslaves work. They are
advanced PCs with only limited CyberNet connectivity (sufficient to run a basic VR interface) but can be
useful for a team to communicate with a Netrunner in cyberspace.

Printers: hardcopy 2D and 3D printers.

Doors: Computer-controlled doors into and out of the building. May also be internal doors, such as the
entrance to a secure computer room or bio-lab.

Elevators: Computer-controlled elevators between floors and to restricted floors. Generally do not move

Audio Peripherals: Microphones and speakers accessible from the system.

Video Peripherals: Monitors, video panels and banks of LEDs controlled by the system

Factory Units: Manufacturing plant, lathes, assembly robots.

Manipulators: Used for manufacturing small items and Fine Manipulation tasks such as robotic surgery.

CCTV: Security cameras for internal and external views of the real-world site.

Peripherals do not occupy the system's INT as they are external attachments. For each class of peripheral,
there should be at least one controller program installed in the system's INT (more for redundancy in case
of attack). The GM is free to add as many peripherals to the system as desired to reflect its use in the real

g) Counterattack Software (CAS)

In addition to the core Operating System (which keeps the system running and performing its tasks) and
the skill programs mentioned above, the system has other programs which are designed to mitigate,
defend against, repel and trace intruders. These programs are collectively referred to as Counterattack
Software or CAS. (Sometimes also known as Intrusion Countermeasures Electronics or ICE.)

Each CAS program occupies one point of the system's INT rating. When designing a system, the GM is
free to "populate" the system's INT (memory) with up to half INT CAS programs (just as if populating a
dungeon with orcs, goblins and traps).

See Section 3) Programs for more details.

5) Netrunning
a) Find the system
This takes a Research (CyberNet), Knowledge (The CyberNet) or Knowledge (Computer Systems) to
find the system of interest. Most systems can be found with a Normal difficulty skill roll. Publicly
available systems (cybercafes, libraries, some news sites, customer-facing and publicity sites) are Easy to
find. Others, such as military, government, secure corporate systems, medical sites and banks, are
Difficult to locate in the CyberNet. Lastly, it is Impossible to find certain Above Top Secret systems
without prior knowledge and/or an inside contact.

If an NPC sponsors the netrun, it may be that the system's location is given to the Netrunner, so this step
would be unnecessary in such a scenario (e.g. an NPC working for corporation A passes on the CyberNet
address of corporation B's weapons research system).

b) The Use of Social Engineering

As part of the task of locating the target system, the GM and player may wish to roleplay some aspects.
Some suggestions include:

• Finding an "insider" who can be bribed, threatened, blackmailed or seduced into surrendering
locations and/or access codes
• "Dumpster diving" through an organisation's trash to find clues to a system's location or passwords
• Cold-calling an organisation and trying to sweet-talk information from a receptionist or clerk
• Physical penetration of an organisation to look for clues (e.g. the classic "password written on a
post-it note")
• "Phishing" attempts by pretending to be a legitimate organisation and requesting private

If these approaches are played successfully (either by roleplaying, skill dice rolls or use of the Conflict
Resolution system), the GM may modify the difficulty of finding the system by one step down. A Normal
difficulty system becomes Easy to find; an Impossible system becomes merely Difficult to find.

c) Login to the System

When the system has been located, it is (more than likely) necessary to gain access to the system in some
way. This is called "Logging In".

The hacker will have to find an Access Point in the system (see System Components). To locate an Access
Point, a Technical Skill (Computer Use) or Research (CyberNet) skill roll is required. For such a skill test,
use the following levels of success:

• FUMBLE: The password is actually invalid, despite the Netrunner's efforts in securing it in the
first place, or the credentials become locked until the real user logs a technical support call to
unlock the account. An Access Point cannot be found. System Operations Count increases by 1D6.
• FAILURE: The Netrunner mistypes or does not use the credentials correctly. The Netrunner may
try again but a number of successive failures (determined by the GM) may lock the account or
"flag" it as a possible intrusion attempt. An Access Point cannot be found. System Operations
Count increases by 1D3.
• SUCCESS: Access is granted. The Operations Count increases by one.
• SPECIAL: Access is granted. The Operations Count decreases by one if already greater than zero.
• CRITICAL: Access is granted. The Operations Count decreases by 1D3 if already greater than

If the Netrunner has valid credentials, login should be automatic, though the GM could request a
Technical Skill (Computer Use) to ensure access is granted.

If the Netrunner is attempting brute force access, then the Crack program, or similar, must be run against
the system's Access Point. To run the Crack program, the Netrunner makes a Technical Skill (Computer
Use) skill roll. See Section 6e), Running a program on an opposing system or deck for more information.

In the absence of a Crack program, the Netrunner may attempt to program an entry "on the fly". This is a
Technical Skill (Computer Programming) skill roll (which may be increased by 1/5 the Netrunner's
Technical Skill (Computer Use) skill at the GM's discretion). The difficulty of this task is the same as the
difficulty taken to find the system.

d) Survey the System

Once entry has been gained, the Netrunner must locate the object of the hacking attempt. Make a
Technical Skill (Computer Use) (which, at GM's discretion, can be increased by 1/5 of the hacker's
Technical Skill (Computer Programming) skill) and check the level of success below:

• FUMBLE: The system Operations Count increases by 1D6.

• FAILURE: The system becomes suspicious and the Operations Count increases by 1D3.
• SUCCESS: The Hacker uncovers basic system information such as its Class, number of CPUs and
so on and finds specific item(s) of interest to the mission. The Operations Count remains
• SPECIAL: The item(s) of interest are found, along with the system's Alert Level and 1D3 "special
features" of the system. The Operations Count is reduced by one.
• CRITICAL: The goal is acquired along with 1D3+3 "special features". Operations Count
decreases by 1D3. In addition, the Netrunner may program a "backdoor" into the system, such that
any further intrusion attempts (see Login in c) above) become Easy tasks.

In addition to specific objects of interest and special features, this skill roll may reveal the system's Alert
State and Alert Level or anything scenario-specific the GM has planned.

This skill may be attempted more than once, even if successful, until all the system's "secrets" are
uncovered. Each subsequent attempt increases the Operations Count by one: even the most lax system
administrator will eventually become suspicious of repeated "what's in that datastore?" requests.

e) Use the System

When the system has been surveyed, the professional Netrunner will concentrate on the mission in hand
and download any files pertinent to the mission. This will require a Downloader program and a Technical
Skill (Computer Use) skill roll. Any files downloaded will occupy INT slots in the Netrunner's deck.

Further, with access to the system, any hardware and peripherals may be controlled by the Netrunner. This
may require special programs (sometimes referred to as "drivers") to control the devices. The classic
example would be taking control of the system's CCTV cameras and relaying that information to a team
on the ground to warn them of approaching guards. Display screens and terminals can also be used to
contact the team. A 3D printer could be controlled to build a specific object. The possibilities are limited
only by the peripherals linked to the system. All of these uses require a Technical Skill (Computer Use)
skill roll, with levels of success as follows:

• FUMBLE: The task fails and the system's Alert State increases one level (No Alert to Passive;
Passive to Active)
• FAILURE: The task fails and the system's Operations Count increases by 1D3
• SUCCESS: The task succeeds and the system's Operations Count increases by 1
• SPECIAL: The task succeeds and the system's Operations Count decreases by 1
• CRITICAL: The task succeeds and the system's Operations Count decreases by 1D3

OPTION: For riskier hacking scenarios, at GM's discretion, each unauthorised use of the system,
whether successful or not, increases the system's Operations Count by 1. It is assumed that any out-of-
hours access (such as during a typical overnight netrun) is sufficient to raise suspicion.

OPTION: Actions which take longer than one combat round increase the OC by one per combat round
after the first. e.g. a Downloader program which takes D3 rounds to run, raises the system's OC by 0, 1 or
2, depending on the dice roll.

f) Logout of the System

When the Netrunner's mission is accomplished, they should attempt to hide any traces of their activity
and log out of the system. This is effected with a Technical Skill (Computer Use) skill roll.

• FUMBLE: The system is alerted. The user cannot log out this round and system defenses are
• FAILURE: The user cannot log out. The Operations Count increases by one.
• SUCCESS: The user logs out successfully.
• SPECIAL: The user logs out successfully and removes one alert level from the system
• CRITICAL: The user logs out successfully and removes 1D3 alert levels from the system

Some CAS programs, such as Blocker, can prevent a hacker logging out until a trace is complete.
6) Cybercombat
a) Introduction
In the present-day Internet "cybercombat" is really two or more users rapidly issuing commands and
counter-commands, perhaps one to force a login, the other to raise another firewall program as a second
line of defense. Whether typed at a keyboard or point-and-clicked with a mouse, the effect is the same: an
intrusion attempt may succeed or be blocked.

In the modern-day CyberNet, however, the users merely think about running an intrusion program or
defense application and the CyberNet transforms all those tedious commands and mouse clicks into a
visual representation of the program and its effects. The result is a graphical interface where the action of
"running an intrusion program" may appear as the user's icon swinging a sledgehammer against a wall.

In-game, these flashy graphics and terminal commands are represented by a series of dice rolls, in a
similar way to combat in the physical world.

b) Initiative
CyberNet initiative is based on the system's or user's INT plus the roll of D10. Highest initiative goes
first. Ties happen simultaneously (i.e. one action is resolved first but its effects are not applied until after
the other actions have been resolved).

c) Multiple Actions
Particularly powerful systems, those with multiple CPUs, may perform more than one action in a combat
round. These actions happen on strike ranks of Initiative Roll / number of CPUs. Round fractions up.

For example, a system with three CPUs and INT 15 makes an initiative roll of D10 + 15, for a total of 22,
and makes its actions on (22/3 = 7.3 round up to 8) initiative steps 22, 14 and 6.

d) Evasion
Cyberdecks and systems have an in-built Evasion skill equal to the machine's DEX x 2%. Think of this as
the system or deck's "last ditch attempt" to prevent damage perhaps by running another firewall, disabling
the network connection for a split second, or even "turning it off and back on again". Evasion can be
increased to DEX x 3%, DEX x 4% or even DEX x 5% with the addition of defensive coprocessors and
additional software.

e) Running a program on the Netrunner's own system

To run a program on a user's own system requires no skill roll. It is assumed the user has permission to do
so automatically.

f) Running a program on an opposing system or deck

When a hacker tries to destroy a system's CAS program or when two hackers face off in CyberNet, this is
an attempt to hack the opposing system or cyberdeck. To run a program on an opposing system or
enemy's cyberdeck requires a Technical Skill (Computer Use) skill roll. If this roll is successful, the user
has circumvented any restrictions on the opposing system and the program runs. Levels of success are
judged as follows:

• FUMBLE: The program fails and the user's system is compromised in some way The system's
Operation Count increases by 1D6
• FAILURE: The program fails to run. The system's Operation Count increases by 1D3.
• SUCCESS: The program runs and functions correctly.
• SPECIAL: The program runs at 1.5 x STR or CON if applicable
• CRITICAL: The program runs at double normal STR or CON if applicable

Some programs perform their functions automatically. Some programs have limited characteristics and
may act as would an NPC in physical combat. Other programs are essentially stationary and act like walls
or doors in the real world.

If a program successfully attacks a deck or system, damage is rolled on the same die used for the
program's STR (a Blaster program generates its STR on 1D6+4; if successfully executed on a target
system, the damage is rolled on 1D6+4). Damage rolled is subtracted from the system or deck's Hit
Points, minus any Armour programs the attacked system may be running. If Hit Points reach zero, the
system crashes.

There may be times when a system or cyberdeck has to brute-force its way into an opposing system. This
may be the case if a system has no attack programs installed (or they have all crashed). In these cases,
match the systems' STR and CON on the Resistance Table as the machines match their raw processing
power against each other. Damage inflicted is 1D3 for a normal success; 1D6 for a special success; or
1D10 for a critical success. Damage is subtracted from the system's Hit Points. When Hit Points reach
zero, the system crashes.

g) Program versus program

If attacking another program, make a Technical Skill (Computer Use) skill roll as above. If this roll is
successful, make a Resistance Table roll matching the attacking program's STR versus the CON of the
opposing program. Then check the result below:

• FUMBLE: The attacking program crashes and may not be used again on this mission
• FAILURE: The attacking program crashes but may be used again in 1D3 rounds
• SUCCESS: The attacking program runs at normal capacity; roll damage as for the program's STR
• SPECIAL: The attacking program runs at enhanced capacity; roll damage as for the program's
STR dice + 3
• CRITICAL: The attacking program runs at double normal ability; the defending program crashes
immediately, regardless of CON, and may not run again this mission

Combat continues each round. When a program's CON reaches zero, it crashes (CyberNet usually
represents this as a burst of static).

If a program destroys another, any excess lost CON points are subtracted from the system or deck's
overall Hit Points (feedback, corrupted data, blown fuses). For example, a Blaster program scores a
normal success, it rolls 1D6+4 for damage and scores a maximum of 10. If the defending program has
only 2 CON remaining, it is destroyed and the remaining 8 damage are subtracted from the system's Hit

7) A Hacking Example
Consider the following:

Name: The Hacker

Characteristics: STR [12] CON [12] SIZ [13] INT [16] POW [12] DEX [11] APP [13] EDU
Skills: Technical Skill (Computer Use) 65%, Technical Skill (Computer Programming)
74%, Technical Skill (Cyberdecks) 61%, Technical Skill (Cybernetics) 31%, Technical
Skill (Electronic Security) 31%, Research (CyberNet) 53%, Knowledge (CyberNet) 31%,
Fine Manipulation 30%, Spot 48%, Persuade 38%

Name: The Hacker's Deck

Characteristics: STR [3] CON [4] SIZ [1/10] INT [5/16] POW [4] DEX [3] APP [1/10] EDU
Skills: Language (English) 25%, Technical Skill (Electronic Security) 25%
Programs: Crack (STR 8, CON 9, Damage D6+3), Downloader, Crypto (INT 5), Blaster (STR
6, CON 4)
Hit Points: (User's INT =) 16

Name: The System

Characteristics: STR [9] CON [9] SIZ [11] INT [12] POW [8] DEX [7] APP [1] EDU [8]
Class: Grey 1
Alert Level: 8
CPUs: 2
Hit Points: (CON x 2 =) 18
Skills: Technical Skill (Computer Use) 80%, Language (English) 40%, Language
(Japanese) 40%
Programs: Blaster (STR 7, CON 4, Damage D6+4), Blocker (STR 10, CON 8), Gateway (STR
8, CON 9, Damage D6+3), Crypto (INT 12), Track and Trace (STR 9, CON 5)
Components: ALPHA1, ALPHA2 and ALPHA3 files encrypted with Crypto 12; Clean-room
airlock doors; external doors; Product launch date; Elevators

Our Hacker is cruising the CyberNet looking for a potential target to invade just "for the LoLz". He
makes a Research (CyberNet) roll of 52% (a very narrow success) and finds a likely-looking system,
represented by an icon that looks like a small, flat-topped pyramid.

Round 1

a) Mechanics
The Hacker must first find an Access Point to the system. This requires a Technical Skill (Computer Use)
skill test and the roll is 52%, a success.

• System OC: 0
• System Hit Points: 18
• Deck Hit Points: 16

b) Narrative
The Hacker flies around the system, looking for an entrance. It takes a few seconds (given the close skill
result) to find an Access Point, which looks like a large, glass double-door, decorated with the company's

Round 2

a) Mechanics
The Hacker has no valid login credentials so must use the Crack program to force an entry. This requires a
Technical Skill (Computer Use) skill roll and the Hacker rolls 35%, so the Crack program is executed

• System OC: 0
• System Hit Points: 18
• Deck Hit Points: 16

b) Narrative
Brute force is the only option, so the Hacker deploys the Crack program. It resolves into action as a large
dictionary, filled with billions of username/password combinations. One of these will surely work!

Round 3
a) Mechanics
There now follows a combat between the Crack program and the system's Gateway program. This is a
"program versus program" conflict (see Section 6g)). Cybercombat initiative is determined by D10 + the
system or intruder's INT. The Hacker rolls (7 + 16 =) 23 versus the system's roll of (5 + 12 =) 17. The
system has two CPUs and therefore two actions which will activate on initiative 17 and (17 / 2 = 8.5,
round up to 9) (17 - 9 =) 8.

The Crack program "attacks" first, on initiative 23, making a Resistance Table roll of its STR (8) versus
the CON (9) of the Gateway. The Crack program has a 45% success chance and rolls 28%, a success.
Damage is rolled on 1D6+3, scoring 7 points of damage. The Gateway's CON drops to 2.

The Gateway "retalliates" on initiative 17, matching its STR (8) versus the Crack program's CON (9)
needing 45% to "hit": it rolls 75%, a "miss". The Gateway attacks again on initiative 8, rolling 23%, a hit
for D6+3 (1 + 3 =) 4 damage to the Crack program's CON, which drops to (9 - 4 =) 5.

• System OC: 0
• System Hit Points: 18
• Deck Hit Points: 16

b) Narrative
Our hero was not expecting such a tough challenge. He is surprised that such a weedy system has two
CPUs. Maybe he should be more cautious? But no, the Hacker continues brute-forcing a
username/password combination from the Gateway.

Round 4

a) Mechanics
The combat continues. This time initiative is (1 + 16 =) 17 for the Hacker versus (7 + 16 =) 23 for the

The system will attack on initiative 23 and again on (23 / 2 = 11.5 round up to 12) 11. It matches its
Gateway STR (8) versus the Crack program's CON of 5, needing 65% to hit. It rolls 82%, a miss.

On initiative 17, the Hacker strikes, using Crack (STR 8) versus the CON of the Gateway (CON down to
2). This gives the Crack program a 80% chance on the Resistance Table. Crack rolls 49%, a hit for (1 + 3
=) 4 points of damage, sufficient to destroy the Gateway. The remaining 2 damage points are subtracted
from the system's overall Hit Points which drop from 18 to 16.

• System OC: 0
• System Hit Points: 18
• Deck Hit Points: 16

b) Narrative
"Ha! Ha! Gotcha!" says the Hacker, exultantly. The final username/password combination clicks into
place and the Gateway flashes "Access Granted" as it dissolves into a cloud of static.

Round 5

a) Mechanics
The Hacker has access to the system and makes a Technical Skill (Computer Use) skill roll of 25%, a
success, which reveals items of interest to the Hacker (in this case some usable dirt on the company's Vice
President of Finance).
The system's Operation Count remains unchanged.

• System OC: 0
• System Hit Points: 16
• Deck Hit Points: 16

b) Narrative
The Hacker gazes around (what the CyberNet represents as) the atrium of a large office building. "There
must be something of interest here," he thinks. With a little nosing around, he finds photographs of the VP
of Finance snorting some white powder from a young lady's tummy. A suit snorting drugs is not worth jail
time, so the Hacker resolves to keep looking.

Round 6

a) Mechanics
The Hacker attempts to survey the system again. This time his Technical Skill (Computer Use) skill roll is
08%, a Special success, which reveals (1D3 =) 2 more items of interest: the combination to the clean
room airlock doors; and a file named ALPHA1, which is heavily encrypted.

The System's OC increases by one due to unauthorised scanning of the system.

• System OC: 1
• System Hit Points: 16
• Deck Hit Points: 16

b) Narrative
"That's more like it," he thinks. Encrypted files always have something interesting in them!

Round 7

a) Mechanics
The Hacker attempts to download the ALPHA1 file. He selects the Downloader program and rolls 23%
on his Technical Skill (Computer Use) skill. The program runs successfully but will take (1D3 =) 2
combat rounds to download the file.

This unauthorised download increases the OC by one.

• System OC: 2
• System Hit Points: 16
• Deck Hit Points: 16

b) Narrative
The Downloader program, which appears as a large hose pipe, one end attached to the ALPHA1 file, the
other to the deck's icon, runs successfully and begins slurping down the data.

Round 8

a) Mechanics
Another survey attempt. This time the Hacker rolls 62% and locates a file called ALPHA2.
The unauthorised scan increases the system's OC by one.

System OC: 3 System Hit Points: 16 Deck Hit Points: 16

b) Narrative
While the Downloader is running, the Hacker keeps looking. This time he finds ALPHA2, obviously
related to ALPHA1.

Round 9

a) Mechanics
The Hacker wants to download ALPHA2. His Technical Skill (Computer Use) skill roll of 64 is a narrow
success and the Downloader program will take three combat rounds to download the file.

The unauthorised download increases the system's OC by one.

• System OC: 4
• System Hit Points: 16
• Deck Hit Points: 16

b) Narrative
The Hacker begins downloading ALPHA2. The ongoing download of ALPHA1 is obviously slowing
down his deck but the delay, hopefully, will be worth it.

Round 10

a) Mechanics
ALPHA1 has been downloaded.

While ALPHA2 is downloading, the Hacker attempts to decrypt ALPHA1. This task is running on his
own deck, so no Technical Skill (Computer Use) skill roll is needed. The file is locked with Crypto-12 but
the Hacker has only Crypto-5 on his deck. A Resistance Table roll of 15% is needed to decrypt this file.
The roll is 13%, a success! The decryption will take (1D6 =) 2 hours.

The decryption attempt is running on the Hacker's deck, so no change to the system's OC.

• System OC: 4
• System Hit Points: 16
• Deck Hit Points: 16

b) Narrative
Twiddling his thumbs, the Hacker looks at decrypting ALPHA1. The crypto on the file is impressive and
it takes some effort (and not a little time) to decode the file. "Oh well", he thinks, "it must be important if
it's that heavily encrypted."

Round 11

a) Mechanics
The Hacker makes one final survey of the system and this time rolls 27% on his Technical Skill
(Computer Use) test. He finds the ALPHA3 file. The system's OC increases by one.
• System OC: 5
• System Hit Points: 16
• Deck Hit Points: 16

b) Narrative
"Wow!" thinks our hero. "Three related files, all iced to hell and back. This could be worth a fortune."

Round 12

a) Mechanics
ALPHA2 has finished downloading.

The Hacker runs Downloader again, rolling 43% on his Technical Skill (Computer Use) skill. The
Downloader program runs and will take 2 combat rounds to download ALPHA3. The system's OC
increases by one.

• System OC: 6
• System Hit Points: 16
• Deck Hit Points: 16

b) Narrative
Round 13

a) Mechanics
The Hacker cannot log out until ALPHA3 has downloaded. A Technical Skill (Computer Use) roll of 80%
is a failure. The system's OC increases by one.

System OC: 6 System Hit Points: 16 Deck Hit Points: 16

b) Narrative
The Hacker sits, watching a "Downloading ..." progress bar getting slowly longer. He vaguely wonders if
the system is onto him already.

Round 14

a) Mechanics
The ALPHA3 file has finished downloading.

The Hacker attempts to log out again. This time his Technical Skill (Computer Use) roll is 00%, a
Fumble! This triggers a system-wide alert

• System OC: 7
• System Hit Points: 16
• Deck Hit Points: 16

b) Narrative
"Oh shiiii ... " thinks the Hacker and proceeds to load cybercombat software.

Round 15
a) Mechanics
The encounter moves to cybercombat. System initiative is (9 + 12 =) 21, with actions on 21 and 11. The
Hacker rolls (4 + 16 =) 20. Actions will be: system's first action; Hacker action; system's second action.

Initiative step 21: The system's first action will be to attempt to prevent the Hacker from logging out. The
system runs the Blocker program on the Hacker's deck (in order to commandeer its CyberNet connection
and prevent disconnection). This requires a Technical Skill (Computer Use) skill roll by the system. A roll
of 74% is a success and the Hacker will be prevented from logging out for (1D6=) one more combat

Initiative step 20: The Hacker attempts to destroy the Blocker program. He deploys Blaster on his own
deck (no skill test needed) and makes a Resistance Table roll of Blaster's STR (6) versus Blocker's CON
(8) needing 40% or less for success: a dice roll of 71% is a failure. Blocker will continue next round.

Initiative step 11: The system deploys Track and Trace. This uses a Resistance Table roll of system's INT
vs. Hacker's INT, which gives the system a 30% chance of tracing the Hacker: a roll of 28% is a success
and the trace will take one combat round to complete.

b) Narrative
The Hacker is starting to panic. He can't log out and now knows he's being traced. Things are looking

Round 16

a) Mechanics
Initiative rolls are 14 for the system (actions on 14 and 7) and 21 for the Hacker.

The Hacker is blocked from logging out this round. Instead, he fires Blaster at the Track and Trace
program, matching Blaster's STR (6) vs. Track and Trace's CON (5), for a 55% success chance on the
Resistance Table: a 98% is a Failure (not quite a Fumble). The Trace will complete this round.

The system makes its first action, this time deploying Blaster against the Hacker's icon. Blaster STR 9 vs.
the icon's CON of 4, has a 75% chance of affecting the icon but a roll of 87% is a failure.

The system's second action is another Blaster attempt, rolling 73%, a very close success. The deck's Hit
Points take (1D6+4 =) 8 points of damage, dropping to 8.

b) Narrative
"Oh No!" wails the Hacker. The seconds tick by as the tracer runs. "How long will it take to find me?" he

Round 17

a) Mechanics
This round, the Blocker program terminates and the Track and Trace completes its trace. Initiative rolls
are 22 for the Hacker and 21 for the system (with actions on 21 and 11).

Initiative step 22: The Hacker attempts to log out, rolling 44%, a success on his Technical Skill
(Computer Use) roll. The Hacker pulls the plug and logs out of the system.

The system receives the Hacker's real world location and sends a message to the Super User.
b) Narrative
Safely logged out for now, the GM permits the Hacker an Idea roll. With a 29%, our hero realises he's
been traced and hurriedly packs his deck and a few belongings into a holdall and bolts for the door. How
long before a corporate Solo team arrives is unknown but the Hacker wisely bugs out to a new hideaway.

8) Artificial Intelligences
AI technology was born in the early 2020s, after much experimentation and numberous (sometimes
laughable) false starts.

Maximum human INT is 21. Artificial Intelligences have INT 18 or higher. However, this is not its
"personal" INT. Points over 18 are the effective INT of the AI. Thus, an AI with INT 25 has a "character"
INT of (25 - 18 =) 7. Perhaps not the sharpest knife in the drawer but still the equivalent of a chimpanzee.
Unlike a chimp, however, this AI can learn, improve and make intuitive leaps.

AIs have characteristics and personality; are capable of independent action without human intevention;
can interact with PCs and other NPCs; they have limitations; and they have goals and needs. The GM
should define all these facets of what is, essentially, a full-blown NPC.

1) Corporations in the 21st Century
It is 2046.

Early in the 21st Century, there was a massive global economic downturn. Many companies went
bankrupt, others shed thousands of employees and still others swallowed smaller competitors and asset-
stripped them into oblivion. Consider this: by 2030 there were only four major computer companies in the
world, only four major oil companies, six automobile manufacturers, maybe five consumer electronics
firms and four pharmaceuticals corporations. Less than two dozen multinationals control most of the
world's major industries. As for the media, in the USA there are just three main corporations controlling
the vast bulk of television, radio, music, the movies, magazines and CyberNet content.

A number of countries took similar downturns. Several nations suffered crippling hyper-inflation and
teetered on the brink of bankruptcy. "Failed states" were reduced to perpetual civil war or, allegedly,
harboured and trained terrorists that struck at the wealthier - or just plain luckier - nations. The European
Union ceased to exist as a coherent political entity about five years ago. Immense civil unrest followed
which continues to this day. Civil war is a distinct possibility in China as the remaining Communist
hardliners (kept alive by the miracles of modern medicine) unleash the Army on democracy campaigners,
while taking bribes from the corporations who are exploiting the largest captive market in the world. The
Middle East is, as ever, a battlefield: Israel is effectively under siege and Iraq is rattling sabres at both Iran
and Saudi Arabia.

These are all matters of public record and have been discussed at interminable length in news
programmes, documentaries, netbooks, print media (itself almost extinct) and even cinema. What is not
so well documented is the influence the corporations had over national governments of the time.

Those corporations which survived the global downturn became the drivers of national and international
recovery. It started small, with a few companies offering financial aid to Middle Eastern and South
American countries where, traditionally, their markets had been limited. With a foothold in these new
territories, coupled with the influence to change national laws to their own advantage, these corporations
slowly expanded their reach to more prosperous and stable nations. Corporate power grew exponentially
and expanded beyond typical business arenas. Acts of sabotage, skirmishes, even assassination - all
conducted under an umbrella of "plausible deniabilty" - became accepted business practice. The term
"hostile takeover" acquired a whole new meaning as the corporations literally went to war against

In 2027, after the Fourth Corporate War saw the destruction of a Japanese technology megacorp, the
United Nations, a shadow of its former self, capitulated to corporate pressure and became the United
Nations Incorporated. This cemented the corporations' place as extra-territorial nations unto themselves,
even engaging in diplomatic relations with other corporations and countries.

2) Business in the 21st Century

"It's just business," has been the mantra, the justification and the bald-faced lie of the megacorps since the
foundation of UN Inc. Psychologists have theorised that many company CEOs exhibit sociopathic
tendencies; at least two such scientists have been silenced for their research and many more have had
their work arrogantly dismissed as "fantasy" or worse.

While it cannot be denied that many corporate-run projects have brought benefits to the world (for
instance, Imani Corps' widespread irrigation projects in Sub-Saharan Africa) it is also clear that such
projects have not been for charity (Imani's irrigation was used to grow vast crops of bio-diesel oil-seed
plants, while local farms went to the wall). In many cases, the local population has been reduced to
indentured servitude, toiling for corporate masters in their air conditioned offices thousands of kilometres
away, to be nothing more than a few cents on a balance sheet.

The question nagging the player characters' conscience is this: where do they stand on this matter of
global disparity? Are they on the side of the "Haves" or "Have Nots"? Campaigns can fall heavily on one
side or the other or perform a delicate balancing act between the two worlds. The GM and players can
decide to fight corporate dominance or maintain the status quo. Guns, bullets and the Information War are
the tools of both sides.

Which side are you on?

3) Corporations of the 21st Century

All of these megacorps play a significant role in global commerce and politics. Beneath these huge
umbrella corporations are many smaller companies, owned in whole or part by the megacorp, divisions,
groups and even diverse industries. Protech, best known for its IT, computers and servers businesses, also
has a cybernetics research group. Almost all companies have a security department: Moscow Heavy
Engineering is rumoured to have a military wing comprised of Russian ex-Spetznas special forces

a) computers
• Protech
• Transnational Business Machines
• Frontier Technology
• Neotech Incorporated

b) oil, petrochemicals, energy

• Imani Corporation
• Neo Aurora Energy
• Striker Enterprises
• Tactical Atomic

c) automobiles, transport
• Morgan Engineering
• General Automotive
• Strategic Transportation Limited
• Japan Orbital
• Cortez Automotive Manufacturing
• Moscow Heavy Engineering

d) consumer electronics
• Prisma Microtechnology
• Compass Enterprises
• Ballard Electronics
• Chinese Electronic Dynamics
• Maximum Information Technology

e) pharmaceuticals, medical
• Apex Sciences
• Biosys
• Solis Innovations
• Genecom

f) others
There are countless thousands of other, smaller companies, with exotic, mundane or plain bizarre names

• Horizon Holdings
• Foley Speciality Equity Realizations
• Wyatt Digital Of Kiev
• Advanced Implementations
• Dynologistics
• Cosmobank
• British Tactical Telecommunications
• Canadian Game Logistics

The question that then arises is: who owns these companies? They may be small, independent businesses,
cutting-edge startups or a shadowy, little known division of a larger megacorp. After all, if the innocuous-
sounding Horizon Holdings head-hunts a prominent Vice President, is that really news or is said VP being
groomed for a larger role in a much bigger organisation?

In a campaign, cutting through the bureaucracy, red-tape, shell corporations, fronts and blinds and holding
companies in order to work out which company owns the Solo team scrambled to hit the Player
Characters, can take Research, Etiquette (Corporate), Knowledge (Business) and Status skill rolls and
intelligent roleplaying. The players may not like what they find.

A timeline of one possible future.

1) 1990 - 2000
• Germany Reunited
• Operation Desert Storm
• Serial Killer Alex Crawford Is Arrested in London
• Use of the Internet Grows Exponentially
• Channel Tunnel Opens, Connecting Britain and France
• Dolly the Sheep, the First Cloned Mammal, Is Born
• Hong Kong Returned to China
• India and Pakistan Test Nuclear Weapons
• The Euro is the New European Currency
• Fear of Y2K Bug

2) 2000 - 2010
• The world celebrates the turn of the millenium
• Y2K fears fail to materialise
• "ILOVEYOU" Virus Hits Thousands of Computers
• Terrorist attacks on America
• Gulf War II
• Global economic collapse
• The emergence of Web 2.0
• Huygens probe reveals images of Titan's surface
• Mind control headsets enter the video games market
• Scientists extract images directly from the brain

3) 2010 - 2016
• News reporter hacking scandal shocks UK.
• China Moon Rover Lands on Moon.
• Ebola Virus Outbreak.
• European Spacecraft Rosetta Landed on Comet.
• Flowing liquid water found on Mars.

4) 2017
• Protech Corporation formed from the merger of four tech-giants. The merger is not considered
• Greenhouse gas emissions begin to increase world-wide.

5) 2018
• Imani Corporation founded in Mumbai, India. Neo Aurora Energy sets up headquarters in Rio de
• International Space Station expanded to three times its original size.

6) 2019
• Cranial input development begins.
• 3D printing becomes mainstream consumer technology.

7) 2020
• Global economy has recovered to pre-2007 levels.
• Cortez Automotive releases widely publicised "driverless cars" onto the roads of North America.
Three fatal accidents in the first week force a recall of all models.
8) 2021
• The CyberNet (version 0.1) is born, using experimental cranial electrodes and touchscreen input.
• The first AI goes on line at Transnational Business Machines' Houston, Texas offices.
• Next generation space shuttles, designed from decades-old blueprints, move into production.

9) 2022
• Touchscreens phased out of CyberNet development. Gloves and goggles are now the prime
interaction devices.
• Human stem cells used to clone replacement skin, liver and other tissues.

10) 2023
• Moscow Heavy Engineering wins contract with NASA to supply the planned ISS replacement
• The first cyberdecks are designed to replace the gloves-and-goggles CyberNet interfaces.

11) 2024
• ISS replacement - dubbed Endeavour - begins construction at the L5 Lagrange point. NASA
Incorporated engages "space marines" from the USMC as security consultants. Russian and
American corporations rub shoulders in space.

12) 2025
• War breaks out in eastern Africa as new deposits of Uranium are discovered in Tanzania.
• Cranial jacks replace electrodes. The CyberNet as it is now becomes reality. Over the next 10
years, improvements in network and processor speeds will make Virtual Reality almost "better
than life".

13) 2026
• Rotational gravity achieved on Endeavour.
• War in Africa stalemated and Imani Corp begins diplomatic negotiations with the warring factions.

14) 2027
• Fourth Corporate War destroys Japanese tech firm. Rumour has it, the war was triggered by a
runner team in Seattle.
• United Nations Incorporated founded. Embassies can now be found at corporate HQs around the

15) 2028
• Construction of Moonbase Alpha begins on the moon, led by Chinese industrial conglomerate Han
• Imani Corporation secures mining rights to Tanzania Uranium. In return, a massive irrigation
network is to be built across Tanzania, Kenya and Malawi for farming of indigenous crops and
bio-diesel oil-seed.

16) 2029
• Neo Aurora Energy begins construction of immense solar energy farm in Libyan Sahara, creating
upwards of 20000 construction, maintenance and supply jobs.

17) 2030
• Plans to colonise Mars mooted by a joint ESA GmbH/NASA Inc committee.
• Amazon rainforest has been depleted by 10% area since the start of the millennium. Apex
Sciences report trials of three new anti-cancer and anti-viral treatments to begin in 2031.

18) 2031
• Endeavour becomes fully operational. Docking facilities allow shuttles and space planes from
Earth to bring passengers, tourists and supplies to the station. Endeavour will be joined by
Atlantis, Columbia, Challenger and Enterprise within the next 5 years.

19) 2032
• ESA GmbH begins construction of a second Lunar colony, this time on the landing site of an ESA
probe from the 20th Century. Dubbed New Brandenburg.
• Fusion reactor comes on line in China.

20) 2033
• Tanzania, Kenya and Malawi settle ancient ethnic differences and form the East Africa Combine,
the first legally recognised "corponation" in history. Its major shareholders include Imani Corp,
NASA Inc and Frontier Technology.

21) 2034
• Civilian protests in East Africa Combine are put down by combined Imani Corp and Frontier
Technology security troops.

22) 2035
• Moonbase Alpha - a 3000-strong settlement - opens to the public. A vast atmospheric dome covers
the complex, allowing visitors to stand on the Lunar surface without space suits.

23) 2036
• ISS decommissioned. Wreckage scattered across West Africa after trajectory miscalculation at
Kennedy Space Centre. NASA denies blame; says "we were hacked."

24) 2037
• Depressurisation accident on Moonbase Alpha. Three hundred dead.

25) 2038
• CyberNet access in Europe crashes. It is out of action for almost 12 hours. No cause can be found
but rumours of viral attacks, corporate backed cyberterrorism and "black ICE" run rampant. Two
known hackers are found dead, one in New York, the other in Osaka, Japan. News leaks that, even
given time-zone differences, both hackers died at exactly the same time.
26) 2039
• Biosys confirms human cloning trials. The furore is unprecedented. Campaigners demonstrate
outside Biosys offices in London, Beijing and Washington DC.

27) 2040
• Terrorists strike a Biosys research lab in Munich, Germany. The death toll includes at least one
human clone.
• Hole in the ozone layer above Antarctica begins to expand after several years of shrinking.

28) 2041
• The asteroid 2001 AN19 makes a close approach. Lunar bases are on high alert as the asteroid
passes within 250000km.

29) 2042
• Neo Aurora Energy hikes prices for solar-generated electricity supplied to Europe. Black-outs
sweep the continent.

30) 2043
• Global population estimated at 9 billion.

31) 2044
• Global average temperatures have risen by 2 degrees Celsius.
• Pollution worsens over India, China and the USA.

32) 2045
• Manned mission departs for Mars. A crew of 100 scientists, engineers and doctors, from many
nations and corporations, board the Martian Horizon for a trip that will take 14 months.

33) 2046
• The Present

1) Sandy Antunes' Cyberthulhu rules

A PDF available at:

2) The Jargon Lexicon
3) A future timeline